Top 6 SQL Certifications to Make You a Real Pro in 2020

More and more technology decision makers are saying that big data and business intelligence are the top priorities in 2020. And the reasons for this are very clear. The companies rely heavily on relational data to provide insights that drive important critical business decisions and this puts SQL Server skills in very high demand. But how do you demonstrate that you possess SQL Server knowledge so that you may secure your dream job that pays well? So, you can do this by obtaining a SQL certification that aligns properly with your career goals.

The SQL certificates are the main differentiators for those who are looking for the job roles in administration, database development, or analysis. Most employers see them as tangible proof of the candidate’s skills in the field. Earning one proves that you can effectively develop and maintain very complex databases as well as information solutions. These skills make you a very valuable asset for any company.

There are several SQL certifications available in the sector. Here are the top six that you can pursue this year to boost both your IT career and salary.

1. MTA: Database Fundamentals

Microsoft is one of the first companies to go to when you need a SQL credential. It offers a lot of certificates at several different levels so that the specialists of any position can obtain a badge they want. MTA is an introductory certification for those individuals who don’t have plenty of experience. So if you have just a little of it and you are looking for the best SQL credential to boost your career and salary this year, then MTA may be a good starting point for you, especially MTA: Database Fundamentals that is intended for the inexperienced candidates. It covers their entry-level skills and knowledge related to database, including SQL Server.

There are no official prerequisites for this certificate but you have to pass the 98-364 exam. You don’t even need any prior experience for you to take this test. However, it is recommended that you have the baseline knowledge of relevant database technologies, which can be gained by the required training.

2.MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration

It is also among the top SQL certifications you can consider if you are looking for a credential that will help you move up the career ladder this year. Getting this badge proves your skills and knowledge of database installation, provisioning, maintenance, and configuration. It qualifies you for a number of positions, including an architect, an infrastructure specialist, or a development lead.

Please note that you need foundational IT skills to obtain this certificate. If you don’t possess the required expertise, you may first consider pursuing at least one MTA credential because it will help you prepare for the related exams. You can also skip MTA if you already have some basic working experience with databases. However, you must pass the following tests: 70-764 and 70-765.

3. MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development

This is a sought-after SQL certification for anyone who wants to become a business intelligence developer. It strengthens your Extract, Load, Transform (ETL) and data warehouse skills. Moreover, this associate-level credential demonstrates that you have the knowledge needed to implement BI solutions using OLAP (online analytical processing) cubes as well as multidimensional and tabular data models. To earn this badge, you should pass two exams: 70-767 and 70-768.

4. MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

This is an expert-level credential that validates one’s advanced skills in administering SQL, managing data in both Cloud and on-premises environments, and building enterprise-level data solutions. This certification will qualify you for the job roles, such as a business intelligence analyst, a database designer, or a database analyst.

To get this certificate, you must be a holder of an MCSA credential in any of the following domains: Data Engineering with Azure, BI Reporting, BI Development, Database Administration, SQL 2016 Database Development, or SQL Server 2010/2014. It also requires that you pass one of eight elective exams in order to earn it. These tests cover a range of topics, including big data analytics, business intelligence, and Cloud.

5. Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 8.0 Database Administrator

Microsoft is not the only vendor that offers the SQL certifications to all the interested candidates, so you should not forget about Oracle. It has a wide range of certification tracks with various levels to find benefits in the eyes of the professionals. The company gives you the opportunity to choose one of the paths in the Database category: Oracle Database or MySQL. The most popular credential is Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 8.0 Database Administrator from the second category.

By obtaining this badge, you will become a certified specialist with verified skills in installing and configuring MySQL Server and client programs, troubleshooting server slowdowns and other issues, and using server logs to monitor database activity. You will also be able to upgrade MySQL on a running server, administer a replication topology, protect your data from common security risks, and perform other important tasks. You can gain all this knowledge by passing the 1Z0-908 exam that is the only requirement for earning this Oracle credential.

6. SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA 2.0 SPS04

SAP, the world’s largest Cloud business software company, is another certification vendor that you can rely on. All in all, it offers you 4 tracks in its program: Cloud, Analytics, Database & Technology, and Applications. The most sought-after credential that is in the top tier is SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA 2.0 SPS04. For this certificate, you will need to pass only one exam.

After getting the badge, you will be confirmed to posses the relevant skills in the area of SAP HANA. As a certified specialist, you will also have to perform daily administration tasks that include installation, configuration, and management of the SAP HANA database, Cockpit, and Scale-out systems, as well as execution of database migrations to SAP HANA.


SQL is a universal and popular coding language. This means that it is here to stay, and it will not go anywhere soon. Pursuing the top SQL certification path is something that will help you gain valuable skills and knowledge to stay relevant for many years. If you think you are ready to enhance your IT career and increase your chances of landing a well-paid job of your dream, then you should waste no time. You can choose any of the best SQL credentials we have discussed in this blog post. Which one to choose is completely your task that you need to perform alone. So, we wish you good luck on your journey!